Well, at least some young guns are motivated enough to refute the Minister,
"I feel it's a sweeping statement to say that Singaporean students lack drive," (2nd year Ngee Ann Polytechnic student, 23);
"I feel that Singaporeans students have drive. .. towards choosing well-paying jobs as has been ingrained into them from a young age," (2nd year NUS student, 20);
"I am driven by my desire for happiness, which comprises a stable income and job I'm happy with," (Film and media studies student, 18).
Surprise, surprise - the one who disagrees most with Heng is a foreign visitor from Australia, "I feel that the students here have enormous drive. They are highly motivated to do well. It surprises me, really. They are more motivated compared with Australian students." Good on ya, mate, thanks for the ringing endorsement!
The European CEO Heng quoted was reportedly shocked by the alleged Singaporean response, "What if I fail? Will I still have a job? Is there a support system and do I get retrenchment benefits?" Doesn't that sound remarkably like the lines used to justify the million dollar ministerial salaries? That money will take care of the uncertainties of the political arena? Maybe that CEO should have talked to real lesser mortal Singaporeans instead of the typical invitees to the Istana tea session. Or some of his own countrymen caught up in the throes of the European sovereign debt crisis.
It beggars to ask, is there such a thing as "noble" motivation or drive? Don't embarrass our local sportsmen and women with that question. Theirs is a carrot dangling in front of the goal post - real gold to strive for at the SEA games ($10,000), Commonwealth Games ($80,000) and Olympics ($1,000,000).
Heng didn't spell out for his listeners what actually drives him and his comrades. The following table with numbers from the Andrea Ong article ("What price a minister? 42 years of controversy") may provide the clue for the source of their motivation and drive.
(* where monthly figures are not available, reported annual pay is divided by 12 months - who can keep up with all those bamboozling bonuses?)
|Monthly Salaries||Minister Pay||PM Pay|